Join Timedoctor as he gets in his airship to reign fire and smite his foes.
Do you like strategically shooting cannons, flying airships, and earning experience points as you crush your enemies? Maybe you’d like to take the ground right out from underneath them and send their castle falling into oblivion while you laugh.
Cannon Brawl from Turtle Sandbox is little bit of real-time-strategy mixed with tower defense and Worms/Scorched Earth/Gorillas.bas and was originally prototyped for, and won, a game jam put on by Activision. Like so many other games anymore, it’s been developed over months in Steam’s Early Access program.
The single player story in Cannon Brawl is about a princess whose uncle has formed a coup against the rightful king. You, as the princess, navigate an over world map to pick levels and then use your airship as your cursor and select sites to build offensive and defensive towers in order to free the king and defeat the evil Uncle. The writing isn’t particularly hilarious or interesting but still provides a structure for gradually unlocking unlockables.
Through your airship/cursor you get to pick a tower, aim it with the handy targeting reticule and attack pattern display, and fire it. Most likely slamming some rockets or cannons into the enemies shields and then waiting for a cool down on your towers to expire before you do it again.
At first I thought it was odd that the offensive towers didn’t fire automatically. Maybe I’ve been corrupted by too many tower defense games, but it wasn’t long before I was used to it.
There are shield towers and repair towers. Laser towers and ice towers. There are plenty more, too. You pick out a selection of five before each match based on what you think the enemy will have and the layout of the map’s terrain.
As you progress through the single player campaign you’ll unlock new towers and unique pilots with skills that buff your towers or do damage. They’ll make you a nightmare for your foes in multiplayer if you take the time to learn them.
That strategy and balance of the towers and pilots unlocked in both single player, and multiplayer through XP are what will keep you coming back. Without any skill balancing in multiplayer you’ll be fighting people who have had plenty of time with the game already and although that might seem like an insurmountable challenge on the order of a 40 year old playing Call of Duty online, it isn’t. With a good set of towers and strategic ideas earned in the single player game you can be a fierce fighter in online multiplayer.
Now even if you don’t have technique dripping out of your butt cheeks you can play skirmish versus A.I. and couch co-operative mode versus your pals. This will require a few gamepads and hooking your computer up to your TV, but it is totally worth it. Cannon Brawl is at it’s best in multiplayer and even better when played with drunk pals.
Get in your damned air ship on Steam for Linux, Mac, or Windows right this second and join me in dropping castles out of the sky.
4/5 Scottish Independences